- Art and the History of ArtArt and the History of Art
Fall 2007/Spring 2008 Course Catalog
The information below is taken from the printed catalog the college produces each year. For more up to date information, including links to course websites, faculty homepages, reserve readings, and more, use the 'courses' or semester specific link to your left.
Practice Of Art: Introductory Courses
02. Practice of Art. An introduction to two-dimensional and three-dimensional studio disciplines with related lectures and readings. Historical and contemporary references will be used throughout the course to enhance and increase the student’s understanding of the visual vocabulary of art. How the comprehension of differing visual practices directly relates to personal investigations and interpretations within the covered disciplines of drawing, sculpture, painting, photography and printmaking. This includes applying elements of composition, weight, line, value, perspective, form, spatial concerns, color theory and graphics. Work will be developed from exercises based on direct observation and memory, realism and abstraction. Formal and conceptual concerns will be an integral aspect of the development of studio work. Class time will be a balance of lectures, demonstrations, exercises, discussions and critiques. Weekly homework assignments will consist of studio work and reading assignments. Two two-hour class sessions per week.
No prior studio experience is required. Not open to students who have taken Fine Arts 04 or 15. Limited to 35 students. Second semester. Visiting Professor Kimball and Visiting Lecturer Gloman.
04. Basic Drawing. An introductory course in the fundamentals of drawing. The class will be based in experience and observation, exploring various techniques and media in order to understand the basic formal vocabularies and conceptual issues in drawing; subject matter will include still life, landscape, interior, and figure. Weekly assignments, weekly critiques, final portfolio. Two three-hour sessions per week.
Each section limited to 20 students. Two sections will be taught first semester. Section 01: Visiting Professor Garand. Section 02: Visiting Lecturer Gloman. Second semester. Section 01: Visiting Lecturer Gloman.
Practice Of Art: Middle-Level Studio Courses
13. Printmaking I. An introduction to intaglio and relief processes including drypoint, engraving, etching, aquatint, monoprints, woodcut and linocut. The development of imagery incorporating conceptual concerns in conjunction with specific techniques will be a crucial element in the progression of prints. Historical and contemporary references will be discussed to further enhance understanding of various techniques. Critiques will be held regularly with each assignment; critical analysis of prints utilizing correct printmaking terminology is expected. A final project of portfolio making and a portfolio exchange of an editioned print are required.
Requisite: Fine Arts 02 or 04, or consent of the instructor. Limited to 12 students. First and second semesters. Professor Garand.
14. Sculpture I. An introduction to the practice of sculpture in a contemporary and historical context. A series of directed projects will address various material and technical processes such as construction, modeling, casting and carving. Other projects will focus primarily on conceptual and critical strategies over material concerns. By the end of the course, students will have developed a strong understanding of basic principles of contemporary sculpture and have acquired basic skills and knowledge of materials and techniques. Further, students will be expected to have formed an awareness of conceptual and critical issues in current sculptural practice, establishing a foundation for continued training and self-directed work in sculpture and other artistic disciplines. Two three-hour class meetings per week.
Requisite: Fine Arts 02 or 04 or consent of the instructor. Limited to 14 students. First semester: Visiting Lecturer Culhane. Second semester: Professor Keller.
15. Painting I. An introduction to the fundamentals of the pictorial organization of painting. Form, space, color and pattern, abstracted from nature, are explored through the discipline of drawing by means of paint manipulation. Slide lectures, demonstrations, individual and group critiques are regular components of the studio sessions. Two three-hour meetings per week.
Requisite: Fine Arts 02 or 04, or consent of the instructor. Limited to 18 students. First semester. Professor Sweeney.
18. Photography I. An introduction to black-and-white still photography. The basic elements of photographic technique will be taught as a means to explore both general pictorial structure and photography’s own unique visual language. Emphasis will be centered less on technical concerns and more on investigating how images can become vessels for both ideas and deeply human emotions. Weekly assignments, weekly critiques, readings, and slide lectures about the work of artist-photographers, one short paper, and a final portfolio involving an independent project of choice. Two three-hour meetings per week.
Requisite: Fine Arts 02 or 04, or consent of the instructor. Limited to 12 students. First semester. Visiting Professor Kimball.
Practice Of Art: Upper-Level Studio Courses
22. Drawing II. A course appropriate for students with prior experience in basic principles of visual organization, who wish to investigate further aspects of pictorial construction using the figure as a primary measure for class work. The course will specifically involve an anatomical approach to the drawing of the human figure, involving slides, some reading, and out-of-class drawing assignments. Two two-hour meetings per week.
Requisite: Fine Arts 02 or 04, or consent of the instructor. Limited to 18 students. First semester. Professor Sweeney.
23. Advanced Studio Seminar. A studio course that will emphasize compositional development by working from memory, imagination, other works of art and life. The use of a wide variety of media will be encouraged including, but not limited to, drawing, painting, printmaking and collage. Students will be required to create an independent body of work that explores an individual direction in pictorial construction. In addition to this independent project, course work will consist of slide lectures, individual and group critiques, in-class studio experiments and field trips.
Requisite: Drawing II, Painting II or Printmaking II. Limited to 8 students. Second semester. Professor Sweeney.
24. Sculpture II. A studio course that investigates more advanced techniques and concepts in sculpture leading to individual exploration and development. Projects cover figurative and abstract problems based on both traditional themes and contemporary developments in sculpture, including: clay modeling, carving, wood and steel fabrication, casting, and mixed-media construction. Weekly in-class discussion and critiques will be held. Two two-hour class meetings per week.
Requisite: Fine Arts 14 or consent of the instructor. Limited to 12 students. Second semester. Professor Keller.
25. Color Photography. This course is an exploration of the materials, processes, techniques, and aesthetics of color photography. It is designed for those who already possess a strong conceptual and technical foundation in black-and-white photography. An emphasis is placed on students’ ability to express themselves clearly with the medium. Concepts and theories are read, discussed, demonstrated and applied through a series of visual problems. This course offers the opportunity for each student to design and work on an individual project for an extended period of time. This project will result in a final portfolio that reflects the possibilities of visual language as it relates to each student’s ideas, influences and personal vision. Students may work with 35mm, medium format, or U5 cameras. Student work will be discussed and evaluated in both group and individual critiques, complemented by slide presentations and topical readings of contemporary and historical photography. Two two-hour class meetings per week.
Requisite: Fine Arts 02 or 04, and Fine Arts 28 or consent of the instructor. Limited to 8 students. First semester. Visiting Professor Kimball.
26. Painting II. This course offers students knowledgeable in the basic principles and skills of painting and drawing an opportunity to investigate personal directions in painting. Assignments will be collectively as well as individually directed. Discussions of the course work will assume the form of group as well as individual critiques. Two three-hour class meetings per week.
Requisite: Fine Arts 15 or consent of the instructor. Limited to 18 students. Second semester. Professor Sweeney.
27. Printmaking II. This course is an extension of intaglio and relief processes introduced in Fine Arts 13 with an introduction to lithography. Techniques involved will be drypoint, etching, engraving, aquatint, monoprints, monotypes, woodcut, linocut and stone lithography. Printmaking processes will include color printing, combining printmaking techniques and editioning. Combining concept with technique will be an integral element to the development of imagery. A final project of portfolio making and a portfolio exchange of prints will be required. Individualized areas of investigation are encouraged and expected. In-class work will involve demonstration, discussion and critique.
Requisite: Fine Arts 13 or consent of the instructor. Limited to 12 students. Second semester. Visiting Professor Garand.
28. Photography II. A continuing investigation of the skills and questions introduced in Fine Arts 18. Advanced technical material will be introduced, but emphasis will be placed on locating and pursuing engaging directions for independent work. Weekly critiques, readings, and slide lectures about the work of artist-photographers, one short paper, and a final portfolio involving an independent project of choice.
Requisite: Fine Arts 18 or consent of the instructor. Limited to 12 students. Second semester. Visiting Professor Kimball.
30. Constructed Drawing. An advanced studio seminar course focusing on the expanded realm of processes constituting drawing in the 21st century. Course work will consist of two bodies of production. Weekly in-class assignments will emphasize the construction of drawings with prescribed limited means. These assignments will broach a wide range of materials, building processes, and conceptual considerations. Parameters for the execution of these assignments will be set by the instructor; subject matter and imagery will be determined by the individual student. The second body of work will consist of an ongoing line of self-directed studio inquiry exploring contemporary issues in drawing. Students will be asked to present their independent projects for weekly class critiques and discussions. Relevant readings, museum trips, and contextual lectures will be regular features of the course. Two two-hour class meetings per week.
Requisite: Fine Arts 04 in conjunction with any one additional practice of art course, or consent of the instructor. Limited to 8 students. Omitted 2007-08. Professor Keller.
History Of Art: Iintroductory Courses
32. Art and Architecture of Europe from 300 to 1500 C.E. By learning how specifically to encounter the transcendent symbolism of the catacombs of Rome, the devotional intensity of monastic book illumination, the grandeur and vision of the first basilica of St. Peter, the Byzantine church of Hagia Sophia, and selected monasteries and cathedrals of France, we will trace the artistic realization of the spiritual idea of Jewish and Christian history from the transformation of the Roman Empire in the fourth century C.E. to the apocalyptic year of 1500 C.E. Several prophetic masterpieces by Albrecht Dürer, Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo Buonarroti completed on the very eve of the modern world will reveal a profound “forgotten awareness” crucial to our collective and private well being but long obscured by the “renaissance” bias that called this period “medieval.” Two class meetings per week.
Second semester. Professor Upton.
33. Material Culture of American Homes. (Also History 37.) See History 37.
Omitted 2007-08. Professor K. Sweeney.
34. From the Floating World to an Urban Vision: Japanese Prints and Photography. (Also Asian 18.) An intensive study of the ukiyo-e prints and paintings portraying the world of the bourgeoisie of the Edo period, this course will also investigate the graphic arts that document the transformation of Japan in the nineteenth century. It will conclude with an examination of photographs of the urban culture of Japan’s post-war period. The class will make extensive use of the William Green Collection at the Mead Art Museum and will include frequent visits to museum collections and exhibitions.
Limited to 20 students. Omitted 2007-08. Professor Morse.
35. Art and Architecture of Europe from 1400 to 1800. (Also European Studies 38.) This course is an introduction to painting, sculpture, and architecture of the early modern period. The goal of the course is to identify artistic innovations that characterize European art from the Renaissance to the French Revolution, and to situate the works of art historically, by examining the intellectual, political, religious, and social currents that contributed to their creation. In addition to tracing stylistic change within the oeuvre of individual artists and understanding its meaning, we will investigate the varied character of art, its interpretation, and its context in different regions, including Italy, France, Spain, Germany and the Netherlands.
Limited to 40 students. First semester. Professor Courtright.
37. American Art and Architecture, 1600 to Present. Through the study of form, content, and context (and the relationship among these categories) of selected works of painting, architecture, and sculpture made in colonial America and the United States from the seventeenth to the twentieth century, this course will probe changing American social and cultural values embodied in art. We will study individual artists as well as thematic issues, with particular attention to the production and reception of art in a developing nation, the transformation of European architectural styles into a new environment, the construction of race in ante- and post-bellum America, and the identification of an abstract style of art with the political ascendance of the United States after World War II. Introductory level.
Limited to 35 students. Second semester. Professor Clark.
38. Visual Arts and Orature in Africa. (Also Black Studies 43.) See Black Studies 43.
First semester. Professor Abiodun.
45. The Modern World. This course will explore the self-conscious invention of modernism in painting, sculpture and architecture, from the visual clarion calls of the French Revolution to the performance art and earthworks of “art now.” As we move from Goya, David, Monet and Picasso to Kahlo, Kiefer and beyond, we will be attentive to changing responses toward a historical past or societal present, the stance toward popular and alien cultures, the radical redefinition of all artistic media, changing representations of nature and gender, as well as the larger problem of mythologies and meaning in the modern period. Study of original objects and a range of primary texts (artists’ letters, diaries, manifestos, contemporary criticism) will be enhanced with readings from recent historical and theoretical secondary sources. Two lectures per week.
Limited to 80 students. Second semester. Professor Staller.
47. Arts of China. (Also Asian 43.) An introduction to the history of Chinese art from its beginnings in neolithic times until the start of the eighteenth century. Topics will include the ritual bronze vessels of the Shang and Zhou dynasties, the Chinese transformation of the Buddha image, imperial patronage of painting during the Song dynasty and the development of the literati tradition of painting and calligraphy. Particular weight will be given to understanding the cultural context of Chinese art.
Omitted 2007-08. Professor Morse.
48. Arts of Japan. (Also Asian 23.) A survey of the history of Japanese art from neolithic times to the present. Topics will include Buddhist art and its ritual context, the aristocratic arts of the Heian court, monochromatic ink painting and the arts related to the Zen sect, the prints and paintings of the Floating World and contemporary artists and designers such as Ando Tadao and Miyake Issey. The class will focus on the ways Japan adopts and adapts foreign cultural traditions. There will be field trips to look at works in museums and private collections in the region.
Omitted 2007-08. Professor Morse.
49. Survey of African Art. (Also Black Studies 46.) An introduction to the ancient and traditional arts of Africa. Special attention will be given to the archaeological importance of the rock art paintings found in such disparate areas as the Sahara and South Africa, achievements in the architectural and sculptural art in clay of the early people in the area now called Zimbabwe and the aesthetic qualities of the terracotta and bronze sculptures of the Nok, Igbo-Ukwe, Ife and Benin cultures in West Africa, which date from the second century B.C.E. to the sixteenth century C.E. The study will also pursue a general socio-cultural survey of traditional arts of the major ethnic groups of Africa.
Second semester. Professor Abiodun.
History Of Art: Upper-Level Courses
50. The Monastic Challenge. A search for spiritual efficacy in the art and architecture of France during the twelfth and thirteenth centuries. First, by learning how to recognize, define and respond to the artistic values at work in a series of “romanesque” and “gothic” monuments including the Abbeys of Fontenay, Vézelay and Mt. St. Michel and the Cathedrals of Laon, Paris, Chartres, Amiens and Reims, we will try to engage directly (e.g., architecturally and spatially) the human aspiration these structures embody. Secondly, with the help of two literary masterpieces from the period, the Song of Roland and Tristan and lsolde, we will discover that the heart of the “monastic” challenge to our own era is not the traditional opposition of the medieval and modern worlds, but rather the recognition of the potential diminishment of art by an exclusively “scholastic” view of reality. The tragic affair of Eloise and Abélard will dramatize a central dilemma too easily forgotten that always (but especially in our own era) threatens art, love and spirituality. Two class meetings per week.
Requisite: One course in Fine Arts or consent of the instructor. Omitted 2007-08. Professor Upton.
51. Renaissance Art in Italy. (Also European Studies 44.) This course treats painting, sculpture, and architecture of the art historical periods known as the Early and High Renaissance, Mannerism, and the Counter Reformation. It will dwell upon works by artists such as Giotto, Donatello, Botticelli, Leonardo, Raphael, Bramante, Michelangelo, and Titian in the urban centers of Florence, Rome, and Venice, art produced for patrons ranging from Florentine merchants and monks to Roman princes and pontiffs. The art itself—portraits, tombs, altarpieces, cycles of imagined scenes from history, palaces, churches, civic monuments—ranges from gravely restrained and intentionally simple to monumental, fantastically complex or blindingly splendid, and the artists themselves range from skilled artisans to ever more sought-after geniuses. Emphasis will be upon the way the form and content of each type of art conveyed ideas concerning creativity, originality, and individuality, but also expressed ideals of devotion and civic virtue; how artists dealt with the revived legacy of antiquity to develop an original visual language; how art imparted the values of its patrons and society, but also sometimes conflicted with them; and how art and attitudes towards it changed over time. Rather than taking the form of a survey, this course, based on lectures but regularly incorporating discussion, will examine in depth selected works, and will analyze contemporary attitudes toward art of this period through study of the art and the primary sources concerning it. Upper level.
Requisite: One other art history course or consent of the instructor. Omitted 2007-08. Professor Courtright.
53. Dutch and Flemish Painting (The “Art” of “Beholding”). This course means to ask the question: What would it be like actually to respond to the paintings of Jan van Eyck, Roger van der Weyden, Hugo van der Goes, Hieronymous Bosch, Pieter Bruegel, Jan Vermeer and Rembrandt van Rijn and to reclaim in such a direct encounter the rejuvenating powers of insight and wisdom residing within the work of art itself. In addition to reaffirming the practice of pictorial contemplation for its own sake, “Dutch and Flemish Painting” will provide explicit instruction in the means and attitude of beholding complex works of art. Two class meetings per week.
Omitted 2007-08. Professor Upton.
56. Baroque Art in Italy, France, Spain, and the Spanish Netherlands. (Also European Studies 56.) After the canonization of the notion of artistic genius in the Italian Renaissance and the subsequent imaginative license of artists known as Mannerists, phenomena sponsored throughout Europe by the largesse of merchants, courtiers, aristocrats, princes, and Churchmen alike, a crisis occurred in European society—and art—in the second half of the sixteenth century. Overturned dogmas of faith, accompanied by scientific discoveries and brutal political changes, brought about the reconsideration of fundamental values that had undergirded many facets of life and society in Europe at the beginning of the seventeenth century, the starting point of this course. Unexpectedly, these upheavals led to a renewed proliferation of innovative art. In this century of remarkably varied artistic production, paradoxes abounded. Some artists sought the illusion of reality by imitating unimproved, even base nature through close observation of the human body, of landscape, and of ordinary, humble objects of daily use, as others continued to quest for perfection in a return to the lofty principles implicit in ancient artistic canons of ideality. More than ever before, artists explored the expression of passion through dramatic narratives and sharply revealing portraiture, but, famously, artists also imbued art meant to inspire religious devotion with unbounded eroticism or with the gory details of painful suffering and hideous death. They depicted dominating political leaders as flawed mortals—even satirized them through the new art of caricature—at the same time that they developed a potent and persuasive vocabulary for the expression of the rulers’ absolutist political power. This class, based on lectures but regularly incorporating discussion, will examine in depth selected works of painting, sculpture, and architecture produced by artists in the countries which remained Catholic after the religious discords of this period—e.g., Caravaggio, Bernini, Poussin, Velázquez, and Rubens in Italy, France, Spain, and the Spanish Netherlands—as well as engaging the cultural, social, and intellectual framework for their accomplishments. Upper level.
Requisite: One other course in art history or consent of the instructor. Limited to 25 students. Second semester. Professor Courtright.
58. The Modern Icon. In 1834 the Inquisition finally ended in Spain; throughout the century, Spain and France witnessed anti-clerical demonstrations and legislation; Marx branded religion “the opiate of the masses.” Nietzsche thundered “God is dead.” As a cascade of scientific discoveries challenged belief, many avant-garde artists believed that the old symbols were exhausted, and that the old form of religious art (the Crucifixion and so on) was no longer viable. And yet, throughout the 19th, 20th and into the first glimmerings of the 21st century, artists have felt compelled to give form to spiritual ideas. Sometimes their ideas related to traditional faiths, often they were more idiosyncratic, more personal--inflected, say, by the cult of "art for art," or theosophy, or a revolutionary ideology searching for martyrs, or by a dream of abstraction that would purge every last taint of the phenomenal world. This course will explore such varied conceptions of spirituality, and the complex status of religions during a self-consciously modern age through the prism of works (pictorial and often verbal) by Goya, David, Friedrich, Van Gogh, Gauguin, Picasso, Matisse, Mondrian, Kandinsky, Malevich, Dalí, Kahlo, Àlvarez Bravo, Newman, Munoz, and Turrell.
Requisite: One course in modern art or consent of the instructor. Limited to 12 students. Second semester. Professor Staller.
61. Approaches to Chinese Painting. (Also Asian 44.) A survey of the Chinese pictorial tradition from the Northern Song to the Qing dynasties, focusing in particular on the development of the landscape idiom but considering bird and flower painting and the narrative tradition as well. The course will explore the differences between Western methodological approaches to Chinese painting and the theories of painting developed by the Chinese themselves. There will be field trips to look at works in major museum collections in New England and New York.
Omitted 2007-08. Professor Morse.
62. From Edo to Tokyo: Japanese Art from 1600 to the Present. (Also Asian 38.) In 1590 the Tokugawa family founded its provincial headquarters in eastern Japan. By the eighteenth century, this castle town, named Edo (now known as Tokyo), had become the world’s largest city. This class will focus on the appearance of artistic traditions in the new urban center and compare them with concurrent developments in the old capital of Kyoto. Topics of discussion will include the revival of classical imagery during the seventeenth century, the rise of an urban bourgeois culture during the eighteenth century, the conflicts brought on by the opening of Japan to the West in the nineteenth century, the reconstruction of Tokyo and its artistic practices after the Second World War, and impact of Japanese architecture, design and popular culture over the past twenty years.
First semester. Professor Morse.
66. Sacred Images and Sacred Space: The Visual Culture of Religion in Japan. (Also Asian 61.) An interdisciplinary study of the visual culture of the Buddhist and Shinto religious traditions in Japan. The class will examine in depth a number of Japan's most important sacred places, including Ise Shrine, Tōdaiji, Daitokuji and Mount Fuji, and will also look at the way contemporary architects such as Andō Tadao and Takamatsu Shin have attempted to create new sacred places in Japan today. Particular emphasis will be placed on the ways by which the Japanese have given distinctive form to their religious beliefs through architecture, painting and sculpture, and the ways these objects have been used in religious ritual.
Second semester. Professor Morse.
70. African Art and the Diaspora. (Also Black Studies 45.) The course of study will examine those African cultures and their arts that have survived and shaped the aesthetic, philosophic and religious patterns of African descendants in Brazil, Cuba, Haiti and urban centers in North America. We shall explore the modes of transmission of African artistry to the West and examine the significance of the preservation and transformation of artistic forms from the period of slavery to our own day. Through the use of films, slides and objects, we shall explore the depth and diversity of this vital artistic heritage of Afro-Americans.
First semester. Professor Abiodun.
80. Museums and Society. This course considers how art museums reveal the social and cultural ideologies of those who build, pay for, work in, and visit them. We will study the ways in which art history is (and has been) constructed by museum acquisitions, exhibitions, and installation and the ways in which museums are constructed by art history by looking at the world-wide boom in museum architecture, and by examining curatorial practice and exhibition strategies as they affect American and Asian art. We will analyze the relationship between the cultural contexts of viewer and object, the nature of the translation of languages or aesthetic discourse, and the diverse ways in which art is understood as the materialization of modes of experience and communication. The seminar will incorporate visits to art museums and opportunities for independent research. One meeting per week.
Limited to 25 students. First semester. Professors Clark and Morse.
83. The Tea Ceremony and Japanese Culture. (Also Asian 19.) An examination of the history of chanoyu, the tea ceremony, from its origins in the fifteenth century to the practice of tea today. The class will explore the various elements that comprise the tea environment—the garden setting, the architecture of the tea room, the forms of tea utensils, and the elements of the kaiseki meal. Through a study of the careers of influential tea masters and texts that examine the historical, religious, and cultural background to tea culture, the class will also trace how the tea ceremony has become a metaphor for Japanese culture and Japanese aesthetics both in Japan and in the West. There will be field trips to visit tea ware collections, potters and tea masters. One class meeting per week.
Limited to 20 students. Second semester. Professor Morse.
84. Women and Art in Early Modern Europe. (Also Women’s and Gender Studies 06.) This course will examine the ways in which prevailing ideas about women and gender shaped visual imagery, and how these images influenced ideas concerning women from the Renaissance to the Enlightenment. It will adopt a comparative perspective, both by identifying regional differences among European nations and tracing changes over time. In addition to considering patronage of art by women and works by women artists, we will look at the depiction of women heroes such as Judith; the portrayal of women rulers, including Elizabeth I and Marie de' Medici; and the imagery of rape. Topics emerging from these categories of art include biological theories about women; humanist defenses of women; the relationship between the exercise of political power and sexuality; differing attitudes toward women in Catholic and Protestant art; and feminine ideals of beauty
Limited to 15 students. Second semester. Professor Courtright.
85. Witches, Vampires and Other Monsters. (Also Women’s and Gender Studies 10.) This course will explore the construction of the monstrous, over cultures, centuries and disciplines. With the greatest possible historical and cultural specificity, we will investigate the varied forms of monstrous creatures, their putative powers, and the explanations given for their existence—as we attempt to articulate the kindred qualities they share. Among the artists to be considered are Bosch, Valdés Leal, Velázquez, Goya, Munch, Ensor, Redon, Nolde, Picasso, Dalí, Kiki Smith, and Cindy Sherman. Two class meetings per week.
Limited to 25 students. First semester. Professor Staller.
91. Topics in Fine Arts. Two topics will be offered in the first semester, 2007-08.
01. THE AXIS OF ART BETWEEN FRANCE AND ITALY IN THE RENAISSANCE AND BAROQUE. (Also European Studies 46.) From the time of Francis I, French kings admired and envied the surfeit of antiquities that came to be preserved in Medici bulwarks in Florence and the papal palace in the Vatican, as well as the splendid art created by Leonardo, Michelangelo, and Bernini, among others. In Florence and Rome, artists had long collaborated with rulers both secular and sacred to create an ideal of rulership that would aid their political aims, and French rulers followed suit with ever-increasing success in fashioning an ideology of rule of their own that incorporated powerful Italian artistic models. We will examine this exchange of art and political ideology from the beginning of Francis I’s reign, through the regencies of the Medici queens Catherine and Marie, and culminating in the kingship of Louis XIV as seen in the royal residences of Fontainebleau, the Louvre and Versailles as well as in the royal collections. To understand the character of the exchange, the class will also dwell on important projects in Renaissance and Baroque Florence and Rome, as well as the way political and artistic theories worked to inform the art and architecture of rule.
Requisite: One art history course or consent of the instructor. Limited to 12 students. Professor Courtright.
02. COLLABORATIVE ART: PRACTICE AND THEORY OF WORKING WITH A COMMUNITY. This course will examine the approaches of various contemporary artists to creating collaborative work. Over the last two decades a growing number of artists have adopted a mode of working that is radically different from the common modernist model. These artists are working as collaborators with people or groups outside the world of art – children, senior citizens, sanitation workers, or residents of a particular neighborhood These artists often create work “with”, not “for” a community and share decision making with people not ordinarily given a place in the museum or other official “art world” sites. The results are artworks that express a variety of social and aesthetic positions. In general, the work is intertwined with progressive educational philosophies and radical democratic theory.
Some of the issues examined will be: What is the special attraction for artists of working collaboratively? What are the roles of the artist, community and audience? How does one attribute quality or success to collaborative projects? What is the relationship between process and product?
This course will examine the work of artists working in various media. Students will be asked to work with community institutions in Amherst or Holyoke to produce collaborative work. Ewald and artist Bret Cook will lead a collaborative mural project culminating in an outdoor installation and exhibition at the Mead Art Museum. Weekly class discussions will provide students the opportunity to reflect upon their own experiences and observations as artists. They will also read about and discuss collaboration, social issues and pedagogy as it relates to the young people they will be working with. A significant amount of work outside of class time is required when artist Bret Cook is on campus.
Requisite: One course in practice of art. First semester. Limited to 12 students. Visiting Artist Ewald.
92. Topics in Fine Arts. Three topics will be offered in the second semester, 2007-08.
01. THE ART OF BEHOLDING. What would it be like to “Behold” a work of art-- that is, to engage its human realization, rather than merely or exclusively observe, analyze or situate it culturally and historically? This seminar will offer a working hypothesis concerning the definition and potential of “Beholding” the “art” of art and provide each member of the seminar the opportunity to test and experience this hypothesis by way of a semester-long encounter with one work of art of their own choosing, drawing on an immediately experienced work of painting, sculpture or architecture from any period, location, or artistic tradition. Foundational works to be discussed will include Zen Buddhist temples, paintings and drawings by Rembrandt van Rijn, Gothic stained glass windows, and Michelangelo’s last Pieta. In sharing the progress of each encounter during our class meetings, we will aim to re-imagine together contemplative action as the highest aspiration of human being. One lecture per week.
Limited to 12 students. Professor Upton.
02. PUBLIC ART IN THE UNITED STATES. What is public art and what role does it play in public life and collective memory in the United States? This seminar will consider art that is commissioned, paid for, and owned by the state as well as private works scaled to public encounter. We will focus on works of art made in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries in the United States and will look closely at the evolution of public art in the nation’s capitol -- from Horatio Greenough’s monumental, nude statue of George Washington to Maya Lin’s Vietnam Veterans Memorial. We will consider the relationship between those who commission, those who live with, and those who decide the fate of public art, such as Richard Serra’s Tilted Arc and the memorials unfolding at the 9/11 site in lower Manhattan. We will ask whether and how public art mediates between private and public life, when and how it defines national values, and why so many have aroused controversy. Class discussion, student presentations, short papers, and a research project are expected. One class meeting per week.
Limited to 15 students. Professor Clark.
03. ARTIST-IN-RESIDENCE TOPIC. Title and description to be announced.
Departmental Honors and Special Topics
77, 77D, 78, 78D. Senior Departmental Honors. Preparation of a thesis or completion of a studio project which may be submitted to the Department for consideration for Honors. The student shall with the consent of the Department elect to carry one semester of the conference course as a double course weighted in accordance with the demands of his or her particular project.
Open to Seniors with consent of the Department. First and second semesters. The Department.
97, 97H, 98, 98H. Special Topics. Full or half course.
Myth, Ritual and Iconography in West Africa. See Black Studies 42.
Second semester. Professor Abiodun.
Roman Archeology: Pompeii and Herculaneum. See Classics 36.